Aljezur to Lagos, 24/09/04

Lagos site = Parque de Campismo de Trinidade E5.70
24.09.4 Aljezur to Lagos. 26.5 miles
26.5 miles in 4h riding time
Campsite was about a mile north of Aljezur on the top edge of another mesa type hill, good site but the facilities were all closed. I left late, at about 10.30.
N120 into the Sierra de Espinhaco, small mountains about 1000’ high at the most.
A scenic ride on a good road, not much traffic and a beautiful run downhill on the southern side, miles and miles of it, haha.
My roadmap shows the N120 joining the IC4 , not a problem, only when I got there I found its not the IC4…. It’s the A22 motorway, problem. Stopped to check the map, yes, its wrong. Was spotted by an English family that were out gardening in front of their house above the roundabout at the start of the A22. They were shouting whistling and waving, “don’t use that road!!”
I don’t have much choice, I’m not going around, its only 3 or 4km at most and it’s a brand new road with a perfect surface. The hard shoulder is 12 feet wide and spotlessly clean. Got to junction 1 looking for my road off, the N120 into Lagos, and its another motorway, the map’s wrong again. The 3 km turned into 10km, but with very little traffic about.
Lagos is a small town that is rapidly building itself up, construction work everywhere.
Plenty of supermarkets and excellent shops, but also plenty of English tourists about. They all seem to have brought their one-upmanship with them too….. my caravan’s better than your caravan etc etc. Golfing clothes and “how much cash can you flash” at the till in the shops. Its nice to hear English spoken again by native speakers after so long on my own, but not too good to listen to what they’re saying, or watch how they are behaving.
The town campsite is absolute shite, full of buskers and drug dealers, people squatting in abandoned caravans and camper vans on flat tyres, falling to pieces with rust and age, the place looks like a scrapyard. End of the road for travelers run out of funds and all of them on the scrounge. Mixed in are a few English, german and French camper vans, new and expensive….the owners look a little lost, confused and sheepish – definitely out of place here – not what they expected on the Algarve perhaps?
The ground is like concrete. 2” of sand and then solid, I broke 3 tent pegs trying to hammer them in with a borrowed rock. Other tents are guyed up with rocks and bric a brac, anything heavy enough to take the weight. Of the 5 pegs I have managed to place in one end of my tent only 1 of them is good, my bike inside leaning against the other end is all that’s keeping it all together.
In 4 months I have slept with my boots on twice… this was one of the times. The crazy lady in the bender with her cats and guitar kept me awake, not a chance of me using earplugs here! Shouting and shrieking at the shadows, an insane mixture of belly laughs, grunts, growls and invented language ( with the odd perfect English here and there).
A tiny dome tent with a pile of dried vomit outside is my other neighbour, I cant see him, but the door is open and its just as bad inside. Site security is letting anybody wander in and out through the gate as they play on their PS2 regardless, then to top it all off, I stood in some half buried catshit without noticing and tracked it into the tent……
Tramps all here for the winter climate.
Welcome to the Algarve.
Human Zoo.



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